We're From the Government, and We're Here to Help You Lose Weight
9:15 AM, Jun 26, 2012 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
While most of Washington is waiting around, nervously chewing on its fingernails in anticipation of the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision (may I have the envelope, please), there are some who are still in the fight. As Melissa Healy writes in the Los Angeles Times:
That too many Americans weigh far too much is indisputable. That they need counseling in order to find out why they are fat and what they can do about it ... well, less so. One suspects that most overweight people have heard the old mantra of "eat less; exercise more." Why, one wonders, should it require "intensive" counseling to get this message across? Is it that hard to understand?
And, then, there is the question of costs and who pays them. As Ms. Healy reports:
People who are at risk, because of their own behavior, paying higher insurance premiums. Why the sheer, brutalizing, inhumanity of it.
And one does wonder if the higher premiums might serve as an actual incentive to cut back on the potato chips and start taking the stairs. Lose weight, save money. Most people would understand the appeal of that even without intensive counseling.
Still, maybe the counseling route is worth the effort, one thinks. After all:
So maybe we should go the panel's route, even though:
And much of the increase will be borne by the non-obese, since that's the way subsidies work. But if it slims the population down enough to cut back on the cardio-vascular afflictions, the diabetes, and the other ills associated with obesity, then maybe we should soldier up and go with more government, less personal responsibility, and a spike in the population of counselors instructing grown-ups on the importance of eating more leafy green vegetables.